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Trial of Áras Attracta workers adjourned until Thursday

Tuesday, 5th January, 2016 7:58pm

Trial of Áras Attracta workers adjourned until Thursday

APPLICATIONS by prosecution and defence teams in the trials of five care workers charged with assault at Áras Attracta, Swinford, will be ruled upon on Thursday.

The court case follows a report by the RTÉ investigations unit on care standards at the centre in Swinford.

After two days of hearings in Castlebar, Judge Mary Devins said she wished to consider a range of issues relating to evidence being presented to her. 

It followed an application by the State for two external hard drives to be taken into garda custody and sent to Dublin for analysis by garda IT experts.

Senior Counsel Patrick Reynolds told the court that he believed the matters central to the proceedings were not affected by issues relating to the copying of files between the two drives.

However, he said he was seeking an adjournment until Thursday to allow for a detailed analysis of the files in question.

Legal representatives for the five defendants subsequently made submissions that the trials be stopped and the cases thrown out.

They argued that it was unsafe to proceed given that some evidence may have been excluded from the State and defence considerations.

Counsel argued that if gardaí had made similar errors to those outlined in court today, proceedings would cease there and then.

Judge Devins said various issues had been raised.

There was a possibility that the Director of Public Prosecutions did not have all material relevant to the case.

She also wanted to consider Mr. Reynolds’ application for an adjournment and the submissions made by the five solicitors and barristers acting for the accused.

The judge said she would decide on all these specific issues and give her ruling on Thursday morning.

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